Battle Athletes OVA Vol. #2 (of 3) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, January 26, 1999
Release Date: Tuesday, January 26, 1999



What They Say
Gradually Akari and her friends come closer to attaining the status of "Cosmic Beauty."
First, they must confront the midterm exam: A.R.M.S. Orienteering in an orbital elevator. Kris, Anna and Akari overcome various obstacles. However, they soon find themselves in deep trouble. Now their true abilities will be tested in the coldness of outer space...

The annual special game held between University Satellite and the Boy's School is fast approaching. This year's game is "Acro Spike," a ball game played one-on-one. Akari, Tanya and Mylandah have been chosen to represent University Satellite. The Headmaster implements a special training regimen to win the game, which not only exhausts Akari, but also causes her to lose faith in her skills. Finally the day of the event arrives. While suffering from game-day butterflies, Akari is faced with an unexpected opponent...

The Review!
The second of three installments, Battle Athletes continues to still amuse and provide solid entertainment. With episodes 3 and 4, we follow the various cast members (as it becomes more of an ensemble than focusing entirely on one character), we move further along in their training.

The audio on the disc is just as good as the first one. No problems at all, with the standard use of the occasional surround sound and of the front soundstage. I can't vouch for the English track though, as the dub from the first episode alone makes me afraid to even try it. I don't want to know whose nipples are hard.

The video is also very crisp and clean, as one would expect from a more recent show. I found no visible artifacts or pixellation. If you had no problems with the first disc, you'll have no problems with the second disc.

I had to laugh at the fan-service style artwork used for the cover of this disc. Very nice shot of Akari's tush. The back cover is more revealing in skin, but less revealing over all. This'll definitely have some hentai fans who may be unaware of the show curious.

The menu is identical to the first one, with the same slowdowns. This, of course, is something we were told will be there through the third disc due to production timeline issues, but won't see on any future discs. In my mind, it's a small price to pay to have all three discs within six weeks.

These two episodes definitely continued in the switch between straight wacky stuff and serious moments. The rivalry between the headmasters was fun to watch. The "Crying Game" sequence also had me laughing out loud. Poor kid! I wonder how/if that'll be handled in the TV series.

Actually, that's one thing I'm really looking forward to, know more than before. This show jumps along in the characters game development pretty fast, as they are already in midterms. The TV series will hopefully offer more character development and more actual athletic competitions.

The hot spring sequence was fun, but not as naughty as one would expect. It was more of a comedic value (don't expect a Plastic Little experience here) and accomplished what they wanted to do.

Overall, this is a solid follow-up, and I'm definitely ready to purchase more. If you bought the first one and liked it, you'll enjoy this ride too.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.



Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: B
Video Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B+
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
MSRP: 29.98
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Battle Athletes